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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Another kind of ladies lunch

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2018 11:43 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Sabyasachi,Manish Malhotra,Kate Middleton

(HT)

Her competitors and colleagues might attract the flashbulbs with their Bollywood showstoppers and their flamboyant OTT personalities, but Anita Dongre has proved once again that real success is measured by allowing one’s work to speak for itself and avoiding needless hype and theatrics. This week, once again, the introverted Sindhi alumni from SNDT’s fashion school, made headlines when Sophie Trudeau, wife of the Canadian PM, donned one of her outfits on the couple’s visit to India. This is the third time in recent years when Dongre’s creations made international headlines, having dressed The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Queen Mathilde of Belgium on earlier occasions. “It makes me tremendously happy when global dignitaries choose to wear us,” she said, when we spoke to her about her hat-trick. “Not only is it deeply gratifying, but it also gives us an opportunity to showcase our designs to a much larger global audience.” Those who know her know that despite Dongre’s international success – and the fact that along with Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra, she is counted among the top three labels in India – her heart lies with the village craftsmen and artisans of the country. This picture of her on a trip to Barmer, Rajasthan, last year, interacting with women artisans captures that. “The healthy meal of bajra grown by the family and the freshly picked ker from the tree in the courtyard made in home produced ghee was the most delicious lunch ever,” she recalls of that day. But there’s no getting away from the corridors of corporate power. This Friday will see her rub shoulders with Reema Nanavaty (SEWA); Shilpa Sharma (Jaypore); and Sophie Trudeau in the Capital, when she has been invited to speak on women’s economic empowerment in fashion, culture. The bajra and ker will have to wait.

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What They Say — “Playing a role is like wearing a new pair of shoes.” - Priyanka Chopra in a recent interview to Jitesh Pillai

What They Mean — “And many of us have feet of clay.”

A Candle for Aga

From the outpouring of grief following the tragic death of Naozer Aga, the 76-year-old Mumbai-based businessman who died in a road accident this weekend while riding his Kawasaki Ninja ZX–10R on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, it is clear that the city has lost one of its cherished sons, someone who gave it its unique character. Friends describe the alumnus of St Mary’s School and St Xavier’s College’s keen sense of humour, his passion for the road and his knowledge of motorbikes and automobiles. His funeral held at the Worli crematorium was a widely attended one, marked with dignity and sadness. “He was riding on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, a route he was very familiar with as he rode there on most Sundays,” said a friend on assurance of anonymity. “He hit a newly installed and unmarked speed breaker and lost control. There had been no warning sign to alert people about it.” By the time the news had reached the city, the outrage over the avoidable tragedy was growing. “Life is cheap in India. Around 13,000 people die every year in road accidents alone in Maharashtra,” said another friend. “The shocking thing is that not only are the authorities trying to deny that the speed breaker was unmarked, but that when they reached the spot, his family actually saw people trying to paint it, after the accident.” God speed Naozer Aga. We are sure the roads are more inspiring where you are now.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 11:35 IST